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ZX81 Hardware

If you're going to take the plunge and get hold of a real ZX81, the three things you need to consider are....

1

Video Modification

One of the challenges with a real ZX81 is getting it to display on a modern television. Luckily, there are a few simple mods available that will make the ZX81 output a composite video signal. The circuit pictured above is what I used. It's a simple circuit which I found here. An easy mod to make even for a relative newcomer to soldering. If you prefer a more 'off the shelf' solution, a board can be bought here, which is more sophisticated than the circuit I used

2

ZX81 Keyboard Membrane

Over the years, the most likely thing to fail on a zx81 is the keyboard membrane. The chances are that if you buy a real ZX81, you'll have to replace the keyboard. Again, not the most difficult thing in the world to do. You can get a replacement keyboard from here, as well as full nstructions on how to fit it. The procedure is fairly simple and requires no soldering

3

16K RAM Pack

A ZX81 is for most purposes useless without a 16K RAM Pack and it is probably cheaper to buy a ZX81 + 16K RAM Pack together than it is to buy a ZX81 on it's own then try and find a working RAM Pack later on.

Hardware

The real thing

Is it worth getting hold of a real ZX81 ?

Emulation

Getting as close as you can

Firing up ZX81 programs on your laptop

Development

The how and the why

Toolkits for developing HiRes applications on a real ZX81

ZX81 HiRes

The fun stuff

Quick Primer on the ins and outs of ZX81 HiRes